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How to respond to a data breach in your business

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2023 | Business Law |

In today’s digital age, data breaches are a major concern for businesses, both large and small. According to Statista, the United States experiences an average of $9.48 million in financial losses from breaches each year. For many businesses, a single incident can also lead to a damaged reputation and legal consequences.

If you are an entrepreneur in Aloha, Oregon, or the surrounding areas and a data breach occurs at your business, there are specific tasks for you to complete as you respond to the situation.

Identify the breach

To address a data breach, you must first identify it. Be vigilant in monitoring your systems for any signs of unauthorized access or suspicious activity. This includes unusual login attempts, unexpected changes in data or reports from employees and customers regarding suspicious emails or messages.

Secure your systems

Once you have identified a breach, take immediate action to contain it. This means isolating affected systems or accounts to prevent further unauthorized access. Shut down compromised servers or networks, if necessary and change access credentials. By containing the breach, you can prevent further damage and data loss.

Assess the impact

Evaluate the extent of the breach and the potential risks it poses. Determine what data the breach compromised and how unauthorized parties might use it. This assessment will assist you in tailoring your response and mitigation efforts.

Enhance security measures

After a data breach, it is essential to strengthen your security measures. This may include updating passwords, implementing multi-factor authentication and enhancing encryption protocols. To stay ahead of potential threats, review and update your cybersecurity policies on a regular basis. Seeking assistance from cybersecurity experts can also help to prevent future incidents.

Notify affected parties

Oregon law requires businesses to notify affected individuals and the Attorney General’s office within 45 days of discovering a data breach. If one occurs in your business, inform customers, employees and vendors of the situation along with the steps you are taking to address it. Transparency is key to maintaining trust with them.

Offer support

Support affected parties by furnishing resources to assist them in safeguarding themselves from identity theft or other potential consequences. This may include credit monitoring services, fraud alerts or guidance on changing passwords.

By completing these tasks, you can mitigate the impact of a breach and work towards preventing it from happening again.